OffBeat

Ask.com reveals the top 10 questions of 2013 (we are pretty much all idiots)

Above: Crack-smoking Toronto mayor Rob Ford

Image Credit: Shaun Merritt

If you’re like me and have a little “bah, humbug” in your Thanksgiving and Christmas cheer, you won’t be uplifted, impressed, or inspired by the top 10 questions of 2013. Especially if you look at the celebrity list.

But there is hope for humanity yet.

Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor

Above: Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor

Image Credit: E Online

Ask.com gets 100 million monthly visitors, so it’s a good swath of the web, revealing what Google might call the “zeitgeist” of the nation. And yes, critical, urgent, questions like “Did the Toronto mayor smoke crack” are up in the top 10 political questions, and life-altering inquires into why Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their child “North West” are at the top of the celeb and entertainment list. Even worse, apparently the most important question of 2013, if we take a democratic view of things, is the deep philosophical conundrum: “What is the royal baby’s name.”

Gag me with a spoon, I believe the old expression is.

However, the top news searches reveal that some fraction of us, at least, have some small sense of things that might be important and relevant on some meaningful scale, with questions about Syria, Typhoon Haiyan and the devastation it brought to the Philippines, and Detroit’s bankruptcy.

Don’t get to high on humanity’s prospects, however. We also care deeply about what Miley Cyrus did at the VMAs.

Here are the complete lists:

Top 10 news search terms and questions:

  1. Royal baby: What is the Royal Baby’s name?
  2. Boston Marathon: Where was the Boston Marathon bomber found?
  3. Syria: Will the U.S. invade Syria?
  4. Typhoon Haiyan: How can I help victims of the Philippines typhoon?
  5. George Zimmerman: Why was George Zimmerman acquitted?
  6. Navy Yard Shooting: Who was the Navy Yard shooter?
  7. Oscar Pistorius: Did Oscar Pistorius kill his girlfriend?
  8. Ariel Castro: Who did Ariel Castro kidnap?
  9. Detroit bankruptcy: How far in debt is Detroit?
  10. Benedict XVI: Why did Pope Benedict step down?

Top celebrity and entertainment search terms and questions:

  1. North West:. Why is Kim and Kanye’s baby named North West?
  2. Miley Cyrus: What did Miley Cyrus do at the VMAs? 
  3. Cory Monteith: How did Cory Monteith die?
  4. Paula Deen: What did Paula Deen say?
  5. Amanda Bynes: Why was Amanda Bynes arrested?
  6. Lamar Odom: Is Lamar Odom on drugs?
  7. Breaking Bad: When is the Breaking Bad series finale?
  8. Reese Witherspoon: Where can I see Reese Witherspoon’s arrest?
  9. Fifty Shades of Grey: Who will play Christian in Fifty Shades of Grey?
  10. James Gandolfini: Did James Gandolfini die?

Top political searches and questions

  1. Government shutdown: Why did the government shutdown?
  2. Edward Snowden: Where is Edward Snowden?
  3. California’s Proposition 8: Was Prop 8 thrown out?
  4. Anthony Weiner: Who did Anthony Weiner sext?
  5. Obamacare: When will Obamacare take effect?
  6. NSA: Is the NSA spying on Americans?
  7. Bradley Manning: What is Bradley Manning’s sentence?
  8. Mohamed Morsi: Why was Morsi overthrown?
  9. Benghazi: Who is on trial for Benghazi attacks?
  10. Toronto Mayo: Did the Toronto Mayor smoke crack?
More about the companies and people from this article:

Ask (sometimes known as Ask Jeeves) is a Q&A focused search engine founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in Berkeley, California. The original software was implemented by Gary Chevsky from his own design. Warthen, Chevsk... read more »

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